Told you so

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on June 15, 2006

It's such an old, lame joke that it doesn't even cause you to crack a smile anymore when you hear it. How can you tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.

Earlier this week Brian Bilbray was sworn in to replace disgraced Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham and it didn't take him long to prove that he -- like far too many of the GOP majority -- isn't the fiscal conservative that he made himself out to be while campaigning.

Via the Club for Growth:

Elected last week in the special election to replace felon Duke Cunningham in California’s 50th District, Brian Bilbray has cast several votes that seem to contradict what he said while trying to get elected.

From the San Diego Union Tribune:

“Bilbray said problems arise when earmarking is done in secret, so he proposed a ban on earmarks done behind closed doors.”

And here are some comments he made at a debate:

“I think the first priority is transparency and we passed a lot of laws when I first went to congress in 1995. There is still more to do, not allowing members of congress to put in private so-called earmarks for funding.”

Despite these strong words to clean up the earmark process, Bilbray promptly voted YES on the T-THUD appropriations bill yesterday, which contained over 1500 earmarks ($), most of which weren’t even in the final bill, but secretly hidden in committee reports.

Plus, he voted NO and NO and NO and NO on each of Jeff Flake’s anti-pork amendments.

Bilbray claims to be a fiscal conservative, but so far he’s off to a bad start.

If you want details, follow the link, because the post over at the Club for Growth contains all of the necessary source material.

Unfortunately, true conservatives of both the fiscal and social variety knew from the start that Bilbray wasn't their man. Bilbray ran as a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. It's become quickly apparent that only the former is actually true.

Unfortunately, we residents of California's 50th Congressional District are going to be stuck with Bilbray for at least 2 1/2 more years. In winning the special election, Bilbray also won the GOP primary and will face Democrat Francine Busby again in November. Busby has proven that she doesn't have a prayer of unseating even the most liberal Republican in this GOP-gerrymandered district.

It's a way off, but what needs to happen here -- and in quite a few GOP-held districts nationwide -- is serious primary challenges from "real" Republicans. Earlier this month, Mike Folmer, a candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate wrote an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal on the Republican primary revolt in that state. In the "May Massacre," 16 incumbent Republicans, including the two top leaders in the state senate, found themselves lame ducks as they were defeated by primary challengers. The defeated Republicans had colluded with Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell to raise taxes, increase spending and, to add insult to injury, approved an unconstitutional pay raise for themselves late at night. Folmer wrote:

These people at the grassroots no longer viewed the state Legislature as a servant of the people but as an exclusive club for political insiders. They fumed as the legislators voted to increase their own pensions by 50%, in addition to excessive daily allowances just to show up for work, and at the practice of allowing members to take expensive junkets to resort locations.

It was as if the Republican Party leadership in the state capitol had forgotten everything they'd been taught by Ronald Reagan -- that the core values of the Republican Party were lower taxes, less spending and limited government.

Pennsylvania is a model for what needs to happen nationwide. Voters need to hold Republicans accountable for adhering to their campaign promises and Reagan's principles. Too many Republican voters are willing to settle solely for lower taxes, but that value becomes a vice when it is not paired with prudent fiscal discipline.

0 comments on “Told you so”

  1. As an FYI, the hard-to-find number at Bilbray's DC office is (202) 225 5452. There is a real live person who answers the phone. The one I spoke to earlier today asked me to spell "instapundit" when I told her how I learned of Bilbray's votes on pork. Welcome to the blogosphere, congressman.

    Seems to me that Bilbray needs to be conditioned by his constituency that we are all watching. I suggest that anyone from his district reading this lob in a call and let Bilbray know that you are watching. It has been a few years since he was in the House - blogs have come a long way since.

  2. I just tried calling the above telephone number...I only got a message saying that the office is closed and that the voice mailbox is full...LOL...

  3. D Pratt wondered, "What is the possibility of a GOP write in canidate for the Nov. election?"

    The possibility is 100% if that GOP write-in candidate's papers are filed before 5:00 pm on August 11, 2006. Go for it, Pratt!

    For more information, see the Clerk or Registrar of Voters (as the case may be) for any county in Bilbray's district and ask for a copy of the elections calendar for the upcoming November 7, 2006 election. Pay attention to the date the nomination period begins. Also, contact the Federal Elections Commission straight away and ask for the campaign financial disclosure information packet for the filings such a campaign will have to make. Contact its California counterpart too, that Fair Political Practices Commission that Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown duped California's mouth breather voters into creating via a ballot proposition. The FPPC may have an onerous paperwork burden for your candidate and your candidate's campaign treasurer too!

    Heck, I recommend to every politically active person in California the exercise of asking for and reading these documents. I especially recommend it to those whiny types who wonder aloud, "Why doesn't someone (someone other than themselves, of course) run against that atrocious so-and-so?" (Anyone can ask for 'em, even non-candidates - just tell the nosy types that one is just thinking of running if they want to know why one is interested.) The reader will swiftly realize that these campaign laws are incumbent-party protection acts; all this paperwork is constructed on the assumption that if one is a candidate the one is automatically swimming in dough and can get hold of the properly specialized lawyers, accountants, and bookkeepers to take care of all the demanded (on penalty of fine and/or jail) paperwork.

    But if the Righteous Republicans in Bilbray's district really want to administer a political spanking to one of their party's politicians who is busily defacing the GOP brand (lower taxes, lower spending and lower government) then I trust they'll organize and get to work.

  4. Too late for 2006. Either you're successful in getting a write-in or you fail; if you fill out the papers, you'll probably get so few votes it's not even reported UNLESS ... you get enough votes for the Dem to win.

    Please do such a write in ONLY if you're ready to start running, now, for the 2008 primary. I'd consider doing this in CA 41 (Jerry Lewis, no primary opp) except I live in Slovakia now.

    The other point of doing this -- Bozo Bilbray, if he knows he's being watched, will probably be a bit better.

  5. Go get'em guys! Love the write-in idea! If we can get Francine to hold about 44% in the general (more than likely given our Kossacks out there), then all we need from you folks and your write-in is about 4-5% more than the right wing third party and independent candidates got in the special.

    By your efforts I just might get to crow about a Rep. Busby yet! Thanks.

  6. I'd rather have Busby in there for two years than Bilbray. Busby will be easy as cake to defeat in 2008. Bilbray, however, will be entrenched as the incumbent with name recognition and the party apparatus behind him in the GOP primary.

    The only chance for this district to have a fiscally conservative representative in the near future is to support a spolier to prevent Bilbray from winning, then collect the real prize in 2008.

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